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How to Install a Satellite Dish

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It is very essential that the satellite dish is mounted properly, so that the broadcast signals are received correctly. The satellite broadcasting TV is geostationary and is at a height of 22,300 miles above the equator. It travels from west to east and if viewed from earth appears to be at a single spot.

The first step in mounting the satellite is to find out the elevation and azimuth. The city, state and the satellite has to be input and the satellite position, latitude, longitude, azimuth, elevation and the skew or the LNBF Tilt would be the output. Now, that the angles of azimuth and elevation are known, it is necessary to have a look to make sure there are no obstructions in the direction of the satellite. If the satellite dish is to be mounted on a flat beam or roof, then the base of the satellite dish must be parallel to the mounting surface. If the roof is a slanting one, the satellite dish must be at a proper angle to the roofline.

Now, the satellite dish can be fixed on the mounting surface. Further, the dish has to be adjusted such that the dish mast is exactly perpendicular to the level. This can be thoroughly achieved using a carpenter’s level. Now, the satellite dish is properly set. It has to be aimed towards the satellites.

Setting the elevation and azimuth

To set the correct elevation, first the nuts that fasten the two elevation bolts have to be loosened. Now, it becomes possible to move the dish upwards and downwards. The elevation indicator has to be lined up with the tick mark that corresponds to the elevation number. Then, the bolts can be tightened. There may be a need to readjust the elevation slightly upwards and downwards to procure the optimum signal. To set the appropriate azimuth, the azimuth nuts on the LNB arm have to be loosened in such a way that the dish can be rotated in a smooth manner with some pressure. The dish has to be moved towards the right or left to set the azimuth. The dish must point toward the southern hemisphere, which is the general direction of the satellite. A compass should be used to match the azimuth number with the degrees on the compass.

Manipulate the signal

With the elevation and azimuth correctly lined up, the satellite dish is in a position to receive the satellite signal. Now, the digital receiver has to be connected to the television. Both, the receiver and television have to be turned on. The antenna LNB has to be connected to the receiver cables.

The digital receiver’s on-screen menu has to be used to view the Setup Antenna / Signal Strength display and calculate the accurate signal strength. This signal strength and signal quality can be viewed by pressing Menu, Installation, TP Configuration and selecting Telstar 5, frequency 12152 or 11898. One person should assist in watching the Signal Strength screen to indicate that the signal is being received. The upper meter indicates the signal strength and the lower meter indicates the signal quality. If there is a signal for the lower meter, only then a signal can be received. Now, it is essential to keep standing behind the satellite dish and hold the outer edges. It has to be turned towards the right so that the azimuth is adjusted. This process of turning the dish towards the right is continued till the signal is acquired or till the angle of rotation is about 15 degrees from the starting point. If the signal is still not received, the dish has to be brought to the starting point and moved towards the left. Similar procedure has to be followed till 15 degrees to the left. If still the signal cannot be viewed, the elevation bolts must be loosened.

The dish has to be moved upward till the elevation indicator moves by half a mark. The elevation bolts have to be tightened again. Such half-mark increments are continued upwards till three tick marks are reached above the original tick mark. In case this attempt if futile, the dish must be returned to the original tick mark. Further, it has to be moved downwards by half-mark, up to a maximum of three marks.


If all the above mentioned procedure does not result in a signal, following checks are performed. The mount has to be perfectly level. Any object, like a tree, must not be along the line joining the satellite dish and the satellite. The cables have to be properly connected to the receiver. The coordinates of the azimuth and elevation have to be precise.

Fine Tuning

After the signal is received, the dish has to be fine tuned to ensure that the signal strength is the maximum. It is very important to maximize the signal, as the effect of rain during bad weather is decreased. For this, it is necessary to loosen the azimuth bolts and slowly rotate the dish in the same direction in which the satellite signal was received. The dish has to be moved till the maximum reading is achieved for the signal strength and then it starts to decrease. Now, that the value of the maximum signal strength is known, the dish has to be adjusted till this reading is reached. At the position of the maximum reading, the azimuth bolts have to be tightened. It has to be kept in mind that the Signal Strength reading need not be necessarily of 100 magnitudes. Now, the elevation bolts have to be loosened. The dish has to be very slowly moved upwards and downwards, until the strongest signal is achieved. Further, the elevation bolts can be tightened.

Polar mount

In a polar mount, all the visible geostationary satellites can be reached by rotating the antenna around a single axis called as the main axis. In the polar mount installation, two fixed angles have to be pre-set. The main axis angle has a range of movement of 90 degrees. The antenna can swing sideways along the axis. The angle by which the beam can be tipped downwards is called as the DISH Offset Tilt angle.

12 Responses to “How to Install a Satellite Dish”
And Miles To Go.... - September 4th, 2007 at 5:18 pm

this will REALLY come in handy when we move to our new residence!! Thanks!!

daniel elentu - September 19th, 2008 at 8:42 am

it is very interesting to read what you have making known to me. But I need complete pamphlet for installation guide for free to AIR SATELLITE DISH. Below is my name and address,

daniel elentu

A.Papas - September 23rd, 2008 at 5:57 am

I am stuck here trying to connect my dish.
Is there any assistance you can offer me please.

Ahsan - October 16th, 2008 at 11:00 am

Mounting advice:

1) ensure that you have the sufficeint LNB (each lnb points to a satalite transponder in space
2) Know the general area to point to: in toronto its south west. You need a tool to tell you the exact direction. 119, 110 are the angles/direction for USA DISH network, 61.25, 64 is for indian etc
3) run the wires outside your house (cleanly by purchasing tecron [blue screws] that can go into the cement/brick wall. First you need a hammer drill to make the holes, then you put these guys in to secure the wire [with a small clamp]
4) find the spot that your local provider (rogers in our case) is feeding into the house (usually on the side), cut THEIR WIRE!, put a connector there 3-4 inputs, one output. So when you cut their wire, you need to reconnect it (by putting on the proper cable connector [takes skill], connect to your input connector, put your other dishes cable feeds to the input portions (you should have 3 inputs in the splitter), and then the output gets connected back to the feed that was going into the house anyway. thus no drilling nasty holes in your wall…

make sense? a2ashraf at gmail dot com for questions

A.Anderson - January 18th, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Is it possible to connect two TV’s in different rooms using only one reciever?

oj demane - February 12th, 2009 at 6:37 am


Paul Van Slyke - March 6th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I just purchased a Viewsat Max HD receiver and tried to hook it up to my Dish Network dishes. I get no signal strength indication on the Viewsat. Do I need FTA dishes and LNBs to go with my FTA receiver? Oh, I’m dummer than a stone about FTA satellite stuff. Thanks! – Paul

Lorna - March 10th, 2009 at 7:50 am

can I connect a Sky box and a Freesat HD pvr box to the same dish with a quad LNB and recieve both sky & freesat programmes? Thanks

ISSAH M HAFIZ - September 19th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for your information. can you please assist me with specific instruction on how to set lnbs to locate transponders in order get cleaar images?

tai - September 27th, 2009 at 2:29 am

I just set up DirectTV satellite dish today on the top of a 10-ft chain link post. The signal strength is 90-95% at the time all the bolts are tight up. I can view the signal strength still at 95%. I hit done and reset DirectTV receiver box.
When the receiver reboot and the DirectTV screen appears and said “Searching for satellite signal 771″….I am kind of confused of what is going on with this on-screen message. There is no further notice… it stays on forever. Pls give me gd HELP! thanks! tai

Frank Walker - January 23rd, 2010 at 3:10 pm

what is the relation between the diameter of dish snd the distance between center of dish and LNB?

Ian Mabon - February 17th, 2010 at 10:53 am

In Spain recently we had a sat TV which tuned into 3 satellites. There was no time delay in changing satellites so I assume the 3 signals were combined in some kind of distribution box
to feed the single input to the receiver. Is this possible and where can I get such a box?

Ian Mabon

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